(Optimum DVD retail)
Mixing the conventions of its genre namesake with explicit sex scenes, this adult animated feature is a cross between 40s noir The Big Sleep and 70s underground cartoon Fritz The Cat. It opens under the famous Hollywood sign, where an amnesiac man awakes to find himself lying beside the corpse of a cop he’s apparently shot through the head, and then follows its bewildered protagonist on a journey of self-discovery through a single dark night in Los Angeles punctuated with shoot-outs and shagging. The plotting is intriguing, but the characterisation and dialogue bland and the animation rudimentary in comparison to Persepolis, Waltz with Bashir or Sin City, which live action-animation hybrid it most resembles. Animated by a slim ten-person team in a tight 18 months, the film betrays its relative poverty of means. But, written and directed by US-based Serbian D Jud Jones (aka Srdjan Penezic) and visualised in Belgrade, it’s the first film of its kind to come out the former Yugoslavia. Extras include director interview and documentaries The Audio Sessions and A History of Film Noir.